September 17th, 2008
07:29 PM ET
6 years ago

Biden waffles on AIG bailout

Biden shifted his language on the AIG bailout Wednesday.
Biden shifted his language on the AIG bailout Wednesday.

WOOSTER, Ohio (CNN) - A day after saying the federal government should not come to the rescue of insurance giant AIG, Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden shifted his position Wednesday, saying he needs to get more details on the terms of the $85 billion bailout.

"The truth is I don't know what the bailout is yet," Biden said Wednesday afternoon in Maysfield, Ohio. "It looks like they're lending them a little bit of money. I don't know what they've done, I haven't had a brief on it. I haven't spoken to the Secretary of the Treasury."

Biden's answer struck a different tone than his Tuesday reaction. "No, I don't think they should be bailed out by the federal government, I'll tell you what we should do," he said on NBC's Today Show. "We should try to correct the problems that caused this. And what's caused this? The profligate tax cuts to the very, very wealthy that John [McCain] wants to continue. What has caused this is the failure to have regulation...It's this government's policies that have caused [the middle class] to get in great trouble."

Before Biden's Wednesday comments, Barack Obama released a statement saying that any arrangement should protect families that count on the company's insurance.

"It should bolster our economy's ability to create good-paying jobs and help working Americans pay their bills and save their money. It must not bail out the shareholders or management of AIG," said Obama.

A spokesman for the Delaware senator released a statement Wednesday aligning Biden with Obama.

"Joe Biden made it clear that nobody likes bailouts, and we should never have been put in this deep hole as a country," said spokesman David Wade. "Taxpayers shouldn't have to be asked to clean up another mess. But here we are. Senator Obama and Senator Biden agree that whatever happens, the Fed needs to make sure it protects the families that count on insurance, bolsters our ability to create good-paying jobs, and helps working Americans pay their bills and save their money. The answer isn't to bail out the shareholders or management of AIG."


Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. CM

    jimmy, you don't need to type in caps for us to realize you're a racist. That Obama story is been debunked too many times to count now.

    What are you insinuating? Blacks are disrespectful to the flag and this country? Or because Howard disrespected the anthem and he's black, Obama is the same?

    Either way jimmy you are a plague to this country. Regardless of the color of your skin.

    September 17, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  2. Sean

    John: I'm pretty sure you're talking about McCain there! Biden just said he needed more information. Not shoot first, shoot last, shoot some more, then try to ask questions!

    September 17, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  3. KATHLEEN

    Just wait for ALL the News of Bush ROVE Cheney tactics come out in
    a book but only after January 20, 2009 when Bush and Cheney
    are home free!!!!

    September 17, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. Barney

    CNN – why is everything in your headlines about Obama/Biden negative, and everything about the lying thugs a positive?

    This is not news. This is campaigning for McCain. STOP IT.

    Let's take our country back for US – Obama/Biden '08

    September 17, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Jacob McDaniel

    What a misleading headline! This is in no way "waffling" Biden is just asking for more information in regards to the bailout not saying that the bailout was a good choice. Wake up America, stop just reading headlines and get the whole story.

    "Take the Power Back!"

    September 17, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Breck

    Waffling? How is this waffling? CNN, your rightist bias is beginning to show.

    September 17, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. Lorna, NY

    When will you start reporting McCain's LYING? Biden did not waffle.

    September 17, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. David

    Uhh... CNN

    Why not cover McCain's flip flop on this bailout? Yesterday, he was against it, and today, he was for it.

    http://www.americablog.com/2008/09/abc-news-slams-mccain-flip-flops-on.html

    September 17, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  9. Barney

    Does any of this go back to Keating 5?

    Why is CNN protecting McCain? What is it? You trying to get the Faux News viewers?

    Our country is in a mess and you all twist and spin.

    WE WANT THE WHOLE TRUTH – From PALIN TOO!!

    September 17, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  10. asportsdad

    People should remember that it was and is Bush-McCain and the Republicans in Congress that attempted to privatize Social Security in order to shore up Wall Street. Had they been successful, your Social Security account would now be down the drain with your 401K.

    September 17, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. Alex

    CNN YOU MAKE STUFF UP....

    September 17, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. Tracey

    I agree! He admitted that he had to gain more information on the matter, as oppose to saying, "In what respect" and trying to skirt around the issue and really did not know! He did not make himself look like a total idiot by pretending.

    September 17, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. jefflz

    Bailing out AIG was probably essential since they were severely compromised by the Lehman collapse- a real domino effect. A question that begs to be asked is what if these billions and billions in funds were poured into shoring up the actual mortgages in such a way that the sausage that has been made of the securitized mortgages could have a defined floor in value? With all the financial geniuses out there including the ones who got us into this mess through "greed financing" – there should be a way to separate the meat from the rot at least to the extent that the risk in these devices could be defined within much narrower limits. As it is now, they are just written down at zero. Specualators will pick up this distressed junk and eventually make gazillions. There must be a better way.

    September 17, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  14. Lynn:60 yr old Obama supporter

    "Being informed" is what Biden wants to be: he stated clearly that he wants to know the DETAILS. That is what a leader and a thinker does. A panderer "waffles" to say what he thinks his audience wants to hear.

    September 17, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. foreigner in the US

    That's why Mccain and Biden are old time Washington pros. First they are for it, then thy ar not sure ........want more details. Notice Obama did not fall into this trap..............

    September 17, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. foreigner in the US

    That's why Mccain and Biden are old time Washington pros. First they are for it, then thy are not sure ........want more details. Notice Obama did not fall into this trap..............

    September 17, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  17. Sara

    "I need more information" is a perfectly acceptable response and not waffling.

    September 17, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  18. Billy. LA

    Joe Biden--do not show up at the debate on Oct. 2nd--Sarah Barracuda is going to eat your lunch.

    What a dunce. Get Hillary on the ticket quick.

    September 17, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  19. McG

    I'm still a little shocked how much I like Joe Biden. I wasn't prepared for that. As much as Mr. Biden talks openly to voters and the media there's bound to be a gaffe here or there. He's the most human and relatable of them all.

    September 17, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. KATHLEEN

    CNN, why are you reporting a story such as this. I am sure
    you could have mentioned that Biden stated that this was caused
    by CEO's getting rich, robbing the banks and companies thru their
    salaries and BIG BONUSES and we NOT REGULATED BY BUSH
    and the BIG WIGS. Cheney got filthy rich off of the war!!!!

    HOW MANY MORE COMPANIES ROBBED THE COMPANIES?
    HOW MANY MORE COMPANIES WILL BE ON THE LIST OF GOVERNMENT BUYOUT. THIS IS BAD NEWS. The government
    is forced to buy the companies for fear of a crash in the STOCK
    MARKET. THAT IS EVERYBODYS LIFE SAVINGS. REMEMBER
    ENRON!!!! Innocent people lost everything. If more companies
    go under because of CEO's skimming off the top, the loss to
    AMERICANs will be on a HUGE Level and will "break" our country.
    Bush is leaving this mess to the next President. God save America.

    September 17, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  21. Lynn:60 yr old Obama supporter

    JIMMY:NEWSFLASH: John McCain doesn't wear a flag pin!! and Obama does put his hand over his heart when the anthem is being played!!

    September 17, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  22. Chris

    Biden didn't switch views…he and Obama both opposed the AIG bailout which would have turned out to be the right decision, since the feds bailout did nothing.

    It may have been "a different tone than his Tuesday reaction" but he still never supported the bailout.

    Kind of a misleading headline CNN?

    September 17, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  23. Gail, Milwaukee

    Don't you people realize that McCain, Obama, and Biden are all part of the problem. They are the ones who have been in the Senate this last many years and did nothing to ward off or prevent the current crisis.

    The three of them are insiders-the three of them are losers-and they are partially responsible for the mess.

    September 17, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  24. meck

    My 2 year old son made me laugh today. He pointed at the CNN headline picture and called out the names of the two individuals. He said Obama, Obama...........and Grandpa.
    Cant blaim him, he's only 2.

    Meck, Vanc.

    September 17, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  25. Barney

    Maverick – unpredictable, reckless.

    Just saying -

    September 17, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
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